Training and basic skills The students will be given an initial introduction to relevant elements of the National Science Curriculum and its associated terminology, (eg 'Key Stage 3' etc.). They will receive a half day of basic training in working with children and conduct in the school environment, and will be given a chance to visit the school they will be working in before commencement of the module.
Classroom observation and assistance Initial contact with the teacher and pupils will be as a classroom assistant, watching how the teacher handles the class, observing the level of mathematics taught and the structure of the lesson, and offering practical support to the teacher in lesson preparation or administrative work.
Teaching assistance The teacher will assign the student actual teaching tasks, which will be dependent on specific needs. This could include offering problem-solving coaching to a smaller group of pupils, or taking the last ten minutes of the lesson for the whole class.
Extra-curricular activities The student may be supervised by the teacher in running an out-of-timetable activity (if appropriate), such as an after-school maths club or special coaching periods for higher ability students.
Special project Following discussion with the teacher as to what would be appropriate, each student will devise a special project that will interest or be of use to the particular pupils they are working with, be it as part of a maths club or part of the day-to-day teaching of mathematics. The student will have to show that they can analyse a specific teaching problem and devise and prepare appropriately targeted teaching materials and basic tests.
Written report The students will be required to keep a journal of their progress in working in the classroom environment and to write a critical report based on this journal. The special project materials will also be submitted, some of which may be written.
Mathematics education essay The students will also be expected to undertake background reading and write a carefully-argued extended essay (4000 - 5000 words) related to the learning and teaching of mathematics. This will be supervised by the Departmental Contact. A title should be agreed between the student and the Departmental Contact early in the Spring Semester. For example, past essays have considered
- Does the use of IT and the internet in the classroom aid the learning of mathematics?
- Attitudes to mathematics and how they can be improved.
- A critical analysis of ‘written methods’ used in the National Curriculum to teach basic numeracy skills.
- How should calculators be used in mathematics education?